Cod and Lobster Chowder

A warming seafood chowder recipe from Rick Stein. The medley of delicately seasoned cod and lobster makes for a delicious thick soup which is extra creamy too.

Introduction

I can’t resist slipping a chowder or two into each of my books – I love that subtle combination of salt pork, seafood and cream so much. Try this with clams, mussels and any flaky white fish.

Serves 4

Ingredients

450-550g (1-1¼lb) lobster, freshly cooked
4 water biscuits
50g (2oz) butter, softened
100g (4oz) salt pork or rindless streaky bacon, in one piece
1 small onion, finely chopped
15g (½oz) plain flour
1.2l (2 pints) milk
2 potatoes (about 225g/8oz), peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
450g (1lb) thick cod fillet, skinned
120ml (4 fl oz) double cream
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions

First remove the meat from the cooked lobster. Put the lobster belly side down on to a board and make sure none of the legs is tucked underneath. Cut it in half, first through the middle of the head between the eyes. Then turn either the knife or the lobster around and finish cutting it in half through the tail.

Open it up and lift out the tail meat from each half. Remove the intestinal tract from the tail meat. Break off the claws and then break them into pieces at the joints. Crack the shells with a knife. Remove the meat from each of the claw sections in as large pieces as possible.

Remove the soft greenish tomalley (liver) and any red roe from the head of the shell with a teaspoon and save. Pull out the stomach sac and discard.

Put 2 of the water biscuits into a plastic bag and crush to very fine crumbs with a rolling pin. Then mix with the tomalley, other soft material from the head and half the butter; or blend everything in a small food processor.

Cut the piece of salt pork or bacon into small dice. Heat the rest of the butter in a medium-sized pan, add the pork or bacon and fry over a medium heat until lightly golden. Add the onion and cook gently until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk, then the potatoes and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Add the cod and simmer for 4–5 minutes. Then lift the fish out of the milk and break the flesh into large flakes with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the water-biscuit paste, lobster meat and cream and simmer for 1 minute. Season with the cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. To serve, coarsely crush the 2 remaining biscuits and sprinkle them over the soup with the chopped parsley.

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